13 Execution site(s)
Franciszek S., born in 1928, recalls: “The tailor’s name who taught me was Koper. He was a very good man. I saw with my own eyes his wife being killed. This day, I brought food to Ms Koper but Kolodziej was in her garden. He asked me what I was doing here, and I responded. He told me to leave because if not, gendarmes were going to find me and kill me. I answered that I wasn’t afraid. She was happy about the food. Kolodziej entered and said “gendarmes are coming! Hide under the bed! And you get out!” I went out and I was 10 meters far from the house. He got out of the house, stopped the gendarmes and said: “A Jewish woman hid under the bed!” The German took her and shot her next to the fence. After the first shot, she was still alive, so he fired once again to finish her off.” (Witness n°490, interviewed in Samotrzask on August, 1st 2015).
Samotrzask is located 79km north-east of Warsaw. There is no precise information about the Jewish community living in the village before the war. According to a local resident interviewed by Yahad, there were several Jewish families in the village. They were artisans, like tailors, shoemakers or owned small shops. Supposedly, all the children, Jews and non-Jews, went to the Polish school.
The village of Samotrzask was occupied by Germans in September 1939. As there is very little documented archival material, all the information that Yahad could gather was acquired during the field research. According to a local eyewitness, Yahad could identify the numerous mass graves of the Jews who were executed while attempting to jump out of the passing trains which transported the Jews to the Treblinka death camp. They were shot and buried on the spot. According to the field research, the local Jews were marked with armbands and were confined into a sort of ghetto composed of three buildings. They were either shot by bullets or deported to the Treblinka death camp.
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